Lenox Images, my new domain!

 Long time no blogging. It has been like a year since I had on my Lenox Knit's hat, figuratively that is. I just wanted to pop in and say that the Lenox name is still going strong but now going in another direction. I'm now Lenox Images, the portrait artist. I've spent the last year learning everything I can about my latest camera and editing software. The past 2 months I've been taking pictures of whoever will stand still long enough for me to shoot them, building my portfolio, and working on my new website. I think I'm ready to put out the shingle and start looking for customers. I have my first paying shoot in 2 weeks. It's an old friend's daughter off of Facebook and I'm not charging her what will be my full rate but it's a start.

Starting a real business this time is a lot harder than knitting scarves and showing up at craft shows to sell. I'm getting my licenses and insurance all figured out so I'm all legal this time. But the experiences on here and at my craft shows have made the process easier this time around.

I'm wanting to focus on teens and graduating seniors, as you can see in the gallery in the link.  With my experience all these years working in colleges and the fact that I haven't aged a day over 19 in my mind, I think I can relate to them. They usually want to be getting their pictures taken, and have their own style and personalities which make it more fun for me.

I just shot my first wedding a few weeks ago. It was for my cousin whose photographer flaked out on her at the last minute. I'm relatively happy with how things turned out. My brother and new sister in law are actually much happier with the album I made for them of all of my pictures then the one they paid a whole lot of money for. Wedding and events are a lot of stress but it is really exciting too, so I'm still debating about whether I want to pursue that angle.

These are a few of my favorite portraits from the past few weeks. The first is my darling cousin Dori. I love that smile, the blue of her eyes, and the retro feel I added to it.

I hope you'll come and visit the new digs and let me know what you think!


First Night in Chelsea

So I got into the city on Sunday late afternoon. Just before I left I walked outside to tell the kids good-bye and managed to get stung by a bee. I immediately thought that my luck wasn't going to change and that maybe I shouldn't be going into the city on my own. I waited around for about an hour and when I didn't go into anapolaptic shock I got on the train.
I found my room and walked around Chelsea/Meatpacking District for a few hours. I was at the Highline Park for sunset. This is an old elevated railway through the city which has been converted into a park. The first shot is from the Chelsea Market and the second is taken of the Hudson river from the Highline. The third is of the Highline Park connecting two old warehouses.
I really loved these big fluffy flowers along the park. I don't know what they are but they look cool in profile against the sunset. I really haven't had time to go through my over 1000 pictures from the trip. I had a few minutes yesterday but I don't feel like I've done them justice yet. I should have a quiet weekend coming up to spend some time reviewing and editing.

I ate a late dinner at The Spotted Pig which is reported to have the best burger in NYC. It was a damn good burger with Roquefort cheese and a mountain of shoestring fries. I made some poet friends here and spent several lovely hours looking out the bay windows onto the West Village streets talking about poetry and art vs. commerce. I bought Cecelia Adam's book of poetry which she had quoted to me throughout the night.

I finally felt like my New York adventure was starting to turn around. I had no more major drama or negative energy thankfully and despite the heat and tired feet I enjoyed the rest of my trip. I'll share more as I have time.


I survived my big adventure!

I wish I could say that things were all smooth sailing after the plane ticket debacle but that isn't quite true. Our plane was delayed flying into Newark which is evidently a very common occurrence. So we missed our train to upstate where Mike's sister lived. We sat at Newark for over an hour tired and frustrated before we were finally able to find a hotel with a shuttle that wasn't booked up for Memorial Day weekend. The next day went much better. We made the early train and got there in time for the last 30 minutes of the Bat Mitzvah ceremony. We were then able to hang out for a few hours before the reception. It was quite an event let me tell you. I've never seen anything like it but we had a good time that evening with the open bar.

Abbie was incredibly composed and gave a lovely speech with personal reflections on all of her family members in attendance. I was thanked for the fluffy Hanukkah scarves I send. I am glad that we made it after all the travel drama since I know it meant a lot to Mike's sister for us to be there.

We had my niece Kate this weekend so I haven't had time to go through the rest of my vacation pictures. I had fun in New York but it was pretty exhausting. I really wish I could have a vacation to recover from my vacation for sure.


New York Here I come!

This Shalom Peace Scrabble tile pendant from Poem Weave Designs is similar to the one I got my niece for her Bat Mitzvah. She has lots of unique Hebrew pieces and cards on her Etsy shop.

So the planning is done and the packing is almost completed too. I really hope this trip isn't cursed. So far it's been one problem after another, mostly of my husband's making. So I'm hoping that once I leave him behind and head into the city on my own the luck will turn.

Mike insisted he had to come back for the last day of school, which is just a half day of turning in grades and cleaning up his classroom. So he had to change his ticket since I'd already bought them before the last snow day. That was the only detail I left to him and boy did he screw it up royally. When he changed his return flight he actually canceled the departure flight and made it a one way ticket. I thought that they had really gauged us on the change fee but I didn't question it much.

Well, last night we were doing the on-line check in and we couldn't find any record of his ticket today since he had accidentally canceled it. They charged us another $275 for a ticket that we had already bought once. So for him to be there for less than 48 hours it's costing us almost $800 in tickets and fees. He has lodged a complaint that it shouldn't have been that easy for him to mess things up and that he was given no warning that he was canceling the flight but I doubt it will do a bit of good. Needless to say we will never be flying Continental again.

When I called my mom all upset she said, "Oh Paige you should know better. You never let them do anything important." She did teach me better I know but trust me it won't ever happen again. We have put it behind us and after 15 minutes of yelling and slamming doors we had moved on. That's the good thing about Mike and I. We really don't stay mad for long.

So send some positive energy my way as I try to move past my husband's silliness and enjoy my solo adventures.



A few months ago I bought a Groupon for a photography workshop from The St. Louis Photo Authority. I redeemed it this weekend for a 3 hour walking workshop called Cityscapes in downtown St. Louis. It was me and one other guy who was having back troubles so for the last half I had the full attention of two professional photographers. It was pretty amazing. After we walked and shot for over 2 hours we went to a coffee shot and they critiqued my work and answered all my questions.

The top shot is one I liked a lot. I set an artistic filter in Elements and then there is the original. You can see the old courthouse and the arch in the background but the focal point is the flower.

Edward Crim does mostly commercial and architectural work now, and his partner Don Love specializes in portrait photography. He told me the story of how he did his first wedding when he was 14 years old. I couldn't have asked for two better resources. Edward is starting a meetup to do walking tours once a month around the city. This will allow me to learn more from him for $10 a year, and I plan on taking Don's portrait workshop in his studio which will be a great learning experience.

I took the class because I thought it would help me be better prepared for my trip to New York City which it definitely did. I think the most important thing I took out of the class is the need to slow down and think more about my shots. I tend to shoot hundreds of shots and hope that a few good ones pop. It works for the most part but that means I have to wade through thousands of images and my work flow is getting out of control. Edward explained how he handles his work flow in Aperture on Apple and also showed me how to use Lightroom from Adobe, which I will definitely be investing in.

The biggest critique they had for me dealt with camera shake. Because I am constantly moving towards the next shot this is a real problem. As an amateur it's not a problem but if I want to sell my work it is an issue. Of course I need to get into the habit of bringing my tripod with me but that's not always realistic for me so I need to slow down and focus more.

They also got me thinking about exposure a lot more. If I want to go entirely manual I will need to learn to trust myself to set the exposure and not just take the camera's opinion. I'm going to experiment with a grey card and see if I'm able to figure it out. They also encouraged me to take the black and white photography class I was talking about as it will teach me about exposure and lightening as much if not more than a digital class.
This one was my favorite shot during the 15 minutes we had of good light.

This was their favorite shot of mine. It's of one statue through another statue at the City Gardens. There were about 3 of my shots that they actually said, "I missed that" which made me feel good. Here is their gear which they were dragging through the city. I definitely had lens envy. Especially the lens on the black tripod. It was 400 mm and you could literally see every detail through the viewfinder with crystal clarity.

I will probably be keeping my 55-250mm on my camera most of the time in the city. I would have relied more on my 18-87 mm if I hadn't gone to the class but after looking at my pictures with both I think the telephoto will be best for architecture. I will also have my lensbaby handy to try to get the unique perspective it gives. I'm not putting any pressure on myself for getting the perfect shot. I just want some nice picures that I can blow up to put on my walls.


The Obsessive Crocheter

A friend from work showed me this article in New York Magazine this month. Agata Oleksiak, the obsessive crocheter, essentially covered her entire apartment in crochet cozies. I don't know quite how she sleeps in that room since it kind of makes your eyes bleed but I love it. It is actually installed at the ­Christopher Henry Gallery in Nolita until May 28. I'm so disappointed since I will be in that neighborhood next week a few days after that. I would have loved to have seen it with my own eyes.I think I would like Olek. This is a quote from the article:
The gallery’s assistant director, ­Jason LeBlond, confirms what you might have speculated about Olek, who is rarely spotted not wearing a crocheted cardigan or collar: “There is no separation between her art and her life.”



I've been thinking a lot about where my photography journey is taking me lately. As I've gotten more and more into photography I've been spending less and less time knitting and getting ready for craft shows. I don't know why I can't do both but I have a hard time being super passionate about more than one thing at a time. I will start focusing on building up my scarf inventory so that I can do at least a few shows this fall after I finish the baby blanket I'm working on for a colleague. But it just doesn't hold the same thrill that it did in the beginning.

I really wish that I could find a photography mentor to help me explore my options and learn some new skills. A student I was working with a few months ago put the idea into my head. He said that he had been lucky to have a mentor that helped him along his photography path. I was almost hoping that he would offer to help me but in my professional capacity I can''t approach him myself. I am thinking about joining the St. Louis Camera Club and will try to make it to some of their workshops. Perhaps I can meet someone there who could take me under their wing.

I'm also thinking about taking a real class here at the college but unfortunately the only one I could do in the Fall is for Black and White Photography using 35mm. This could be fun too but I don't know how practical it would be in this digital age.

I really enjoy doing portraits as you can see from the above shots of my nieces. I have no formal training but I've read a lot of books and taken a beginning photography workshop which helped me learn about composition. I really need to learn more about lighting and photoshop as well as upgrade my equipment before I could actually charge anyone for portrait work but it is something I'm thinking about in the back of my mind.

We have a screened in porch that is rarely used which I could convert into a studio if I decide to go in that direction as well as plenty of parks that I could use for natural light work in the area. I really don't think I will be quiting my job anytime soon but if I could make some money on the side doing something I love how cool would that be?

(c) Lenox Knits, 2009|Created by NSD